International funeral doom outfit Mesmur have returned with their new record Chthonic, four long and miserable years since their last effort, Terrene. That was a great record, truly a massive ode to just utter misery, so the five tracks on Chthonic have much to live up to and is out now through Aesthetic Death and Solitude Productions.
The grumbling, two-part title track comes crumbling down as a Prelude, mournful riffs and crashing drums preparing the ground for the chasms of abyssal doom to appear. Refraction has that classic crawling miasmic feel about it, but it is imbued with a sort of regal, obsidian splendour. With a guttural, earth shaking roar you feel each moment, each second of unbearable crush weighing down upon you. Each track, despite their massive length, remains compelling and interesting throughout.
Petroglyph is haunted by some background effects that sound a bit ghostly, an almost ambient industrial hum that permeates the gloom and maintains an eerie presence throughout. A lot of funeral doom bands just focus on the funereal aspect without actually getting their hooks into the doom end. Mesmur are apocalyptic in their worship of proper old funeral doom like Thergothen and Skepticism here. Key to maintaining that feel is a suffocating, oppressive atmosphere that rarely lifts enough to provide hope.
Chthonic is a record of huge riffs, huge atmosphere and weeping funeral doom…
Now, onto Passage. A truly mammoth undertaking, with a run time of nineteen minutes, this crashing, looming wall of death/doom or funeral doom is definitely coming to visit darkness upon us. The cold, clean sections that appear are like the aftermath of an avalanche; calm moments to reflect on just what a cold, heartless monster has just come to us before it starts again, another fearful onslaught of oppressive weight. A staggering work of heaviness and grim doom, and as Chthonic (Coda) brings us to a drifting, atmospheric end, we all have to bend a knee in agonising worship for Mesmur.
Chthonic is a record of huge riffs, huge atmosphere and weeping funeral doom that is all you’ll need if you’re a fan of the genre. Born of a passion for the titans that came before, Mesmur can hold a withered hand to the fire scorched sky and know that they have been deemed worthy of joining them. Mesmerising, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson